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To: Hon Simeon Brown, Minister of Transport

Save Our National Passenger Rail Network

We call on the Government and KiwiRail to commit to maintaining existing intercity passenger rail services. Furthermore, we ask for a comprehensive national strategy for future passenger rail services built around concern for climate action and economic development.

Why is this important?

Trains connect communities and are an important part of climate change action.

In late 2021, KiwiRail, announced end of same-day intercity services between Auckland/Wellington and Picton/Christchurch. They were to be replaced by luxury multi-day rail cruises. In a win for this campaign, KiwiRail recently reversed that decision and reinstated the Northern Explorer and Coastal Pacific effective September 2022.

While this is a win for the travelling public, it is not the end of the issue. Much of Aotearoa New Zealand remains disconnected by from the rail passenger network and other services, like the the Capital Connection between Wellington and Palmerston North, remain under threat from underinvestment.

This comes at a time when the Government has said it is committed to climate action and reducing inequality.

Trains have connected friends and families for graduations, weddings, holidays, and business for generations. They have connected towns with the cities, and bought our country together. But a period of privatisation and decades of underfunding has limited the development and use of our national rail network.

Trains have an important place in our future but it requires investment and planning from this Government.

🛤 Rail provides a more sustainable and climate friendly method of transport across the country.
🛤 Rail can invigorate the social and economic life of small communities by making them accessible to remote workers and tourists.
🛤 Trains can bring our diverse country together by connecting them to people and landscapes across wide distances.
🛤 Trains provide an accessible method of point-to-point transport for the elderly and disabled.
🛤 Trains can help take traffic off the roads and improve road safety.

Rail is an important part of our past, but it should also be part of our future. Join the campaign to support the retention of a national passenger rail network.




2024-05-12 20:51:30 +1200

Sign the petition to protect Te Huia and find the remainder of the trial:

2024-03-17 23:19:59 +1300

🪧 Join us at a rally outside Parliament on Tuesday 19 March between 5pm and 6pm. We are joining with other transport organisations to demand transport that keeps people safe, supports wellbeing, and doesn't cost the earth. Come along and show your support.

2023-08-04 17:28:21 +1200

Join our upcoming webinar!

The Future Is Rail: Sustaining Local Campaigns
Tue 8 Aug 7:00pm - 8:00pm
Online Event Location: Details sent when you RSVP
Hundreds of people have joined community meetings on passenger rail. Join us to discuss how to establish and sustain a local group to advocate for rail (and better public & active transport!) in your community. We'll be joined by a panel of people who have led successful campaigns in their communities.


Anthonie Tonnon, Public Transport Advocate, Whanganui
Suraya Sidhu Singh, I Love Public Transport Taranaki


2023-04-12 22:20:16 +1200

Capital Connection and Wairarapa Connection services need new trains ordered now if they are to thrive into the future.

2023-03-06 18:53:15 +1300

We have local meetings coming up in: Palmerston North, Auckland, Dunedin, Oamaru, Timaru, Christchurch, New Plymouth and Whanganui...register to join a local meetings here:

2023-02-20 16:55:32 +1300

Wellington supporters meeting. 27 February at 5.30pm. Register here:

2023-01-29 09:56:50 +1300

Join members of our campaign organising committee in Tauranga to talk all things trains and urbanism at 5.30pm on 7 February for an Urbanerds Meet Up hosted by Save Our Trains/The Future is Rail.

Register for Urbanerds Tauranga Meet Up hosted by Save Our Trains/The Future is Rail:

2022-10-13 12:56:31 +1300

Just to clear up confusion, the Wellington protests are from a different group. There's momentum for change regarding passenger rail in communities across the NZ. We aim to harness that energy to imagine better public transport, especially in regional areas. Our tactics are fostering public discussion, submissions, articles, public forums, and thought leadership, etc.)

2022-09-09 14:36:09 +1200

Public submissions are now being called for Inquiry into the future of inter-regional passenger rail in New Zealand

The closing date for submissions is Friday, 21 October 2022.

​Have your say on the future of inter-regional passenger rail in New Zealand.

2022-09-04 23:19:38 +1200

10,000 signatures reached

2022-08-05 13:29:56 +1200

We are delighted to have the support of Protect Our Winters. Rail should provide an easy and affordable to way to connect people (and their equipment) in urban areas to winter sports, and reduce emissions at the same time.

2022-06-23 13:26:49 +1200

Join a public talk by Dr André Brett on New Zealand’s Shrinking Passenger Railway Network on 6 July in Auckland or by Zoom:

2022-06-22 11:58:07 +1200

Another passenger train is fighting for survival. Ancient carriages, regular breakdowns, and constraints on timetables mean that without urgent investment, the Capital Connection's days may be numbered:

2022-03-09 14:21:39 +1300

We released a media statement:
Passenger rail disappears while KiwiRail posts operating surplus

2022-03-06 19:17:06 +1300

Want to join support the campaign by joining a local group? You can join those here:

Can you display a poster with a QR code to help drive more signatures for this online petition? You can print the poster from here:

Want to help get signatures on paper from a local event or place? Download the petition form here: